Archaeology of Cinema

The Archaeology of Cinema collection tells us about the spectacular universe that entertained audiences of all ages and social classes before the birth of the cinema: so many different stories that gave rise to a colourful, surprising and eccentric world reproduced through Chinese shadows, optical boxes, magic lanterns and subsequent devices to animate images. This universe is documented by a diverse collection that includes prints, paintings, and other rare iconographic exhibits. Following the footsteps of Maria Adriana Prolo, the Museum’s founder, we continued to enrich the original collection over the years. Two acquisitions are worth a particular mention: the collection of the twins John and William Barnes, one of Britain's most valuable private collections, and the collection of Pierre and Zette Levie, a Belgian couple united by the same passion for collecting.


Loan of materials

The loan of original materials must follow the procedure of the Superintendences, as outlined in the document   

Conditions of loan

Digital reproductions

The digital reproduction of original materials involves the payment of a fee which varies depending on the use as indicated in the Price list.

If the goods required have not been reproduced already, the applicant will have to cover, in addition to the reproduction costs, the cost of any potential restoration. It should be noted that in certain cases the Museum owns the original materials but not the economic rights relating to the same. Therefore, if he/she plans to reproduce such goods, the applicant must obtain the necessary consent by those entitled, thereby absolving the Museum from any responsibility in this regard.

Those requesting a loan will need to fill in a form, depending on the purpose of their request:

Reproduction for motives of study and research

Request for the permission to publish

Authorisation for reproduction and exhibition

The document must be sent to the Collections department (mail


Raffaella Isoardi
tel.  +39.011.8138.528